Lupus May Impair Social Language Skills
The social language skills that people use in daily interactions with others (also called pragmatic language) may be impaired in people with lupus. A study of Italian people with lupus found that approximately half of the patients studied exhibited pragmatic dysfunction.
A group of 40 people with lupus was compared to healthy individuals. Those with lupus exhibited notable pragmatic dysfunction in the areas of humor (52.5%), inference (40%) and figurative metaphors (50%). Additionally, global cognitive function was mildly impaired in 25% and challenges in areas such as memory, attention and executive and visuospatial functions were observed to a lesser extent.
While anti-phospholipid antibodies positivity was significantly associated with memory impairment, and other neuropsychiatric events were associated with executive dysfunction, the researchers did not find any associations that could help explain the social language deficits. Treatment type, dosage, or co-occurring illnesses did not appear to be correlated with pragmatic language dysfunction. More research is needed to evaluate the pathogenic mechanism of the disease on social language. Learn more about how lupus affects memory.